A woman wearing white gloves examines a textile fragment


Cotsen Textile Traces Study Center


The center is home to one of the world’s most significant textile study collections. Assembled by the late Lloyd Cotsen, it consists of nearly 4,000 fragments of textiles created around the globe and dating from antiquity to the present, as well as some 100 sample books. Scholars, faculty, students and artists are invited to schedule a research visit, and the entire collection is accessible on our collections website. The center also presents rotating gallery displays and public programs inspired by the collection.

The establishment of the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Center is made possible through an endowment gift from Margit Sperling Cotsen and the Cotsen estate.



Plan a Visit

The Cotsen Textile Traces Study Center is accessible to scholars, faculty, students and artists by appointment. Contact Acting Academic Coordinator Karthika Audinet at [email protected] to discuss research opportunities and schedule a visit.

About the Collection

Nearly 4,000 fragments from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Oceania and the Americas offer insights into human creativity from antiquity to the present. Cornerstones of the collection are fragments from Japan, China, pre-Hispanic Peru and 16th- to 18th-century Europe. The Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection represents a lifetime of collecting by business leader and philanthropist Lloyd Cotsen (1929-2017). Browse the entire collection online.

Micro Exhibitions

Visit the museum’s lower-level galleries to see a rotating selection of artworks from the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection. Inspired by contemporary culture and world events, these monthly micro exhibitions are collaborative projects with GW faculty and students. Plan a museum visit.


The center organizes international roundtables, colloquia and research presentations that examine themes from the Cotsen Textiles Traces Study Collection. Browse upcoming programs or watch videos of past programs.

Collection Stories

Explore the Collections Stories blog or follow us on Instagram @GWMuseum for insights on textile traditions from around the world, including examples from the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection.



This Month's Micro Exhibition




Textile with design of pink flower, blue birds and leafy boughs

“Bingata” garment fragment; Japan, Okinawa; early 20th century; T-1026

Textile with designs of plum blossoms, willow branches and bamboo

“Kosode” garment fragment, Japan, Kanei era (1624-1644), T-0500 

Bingata fragment with flower motifs

"Bingata" sample book; Japan, Okinawa; 1825-1912; T-0566

Textile with pink flower motifs

“Sarasa” fragment; India, Gujarat; 1850-1900; T-0799

Textile with design of bird and blossoms

Fragment, China, Ming dynasty (1368-1644), 16th century, T-0996



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